Loneliness is one of the emotions we associate with negativity. We don’t want to feel it, so we reject it and do whatever we can not to have to feel it. For many of us, it can be a driving factor behind our addictions. We’re afraid to be lonely, so we distract ourselves with dating and relationships. Our deep internal sense of loneliness drives us to drink alcohol and use drugs. We try to escape that relentless loneliness that we can’t seem to get away from. Part of the recovery process is learning emotional independence. We learn how to be ok within ourselves. We learn to embrace being alone rather than wanting to reject it.
Loneliness is a natural part of life. We are going to have times when we’re alone. We’re going to experience that feeling of being lonely even when other people are around. When we feel lonely, it’s often because we feel a void within ourselves that we can’t seem to fill on our own. We attempt to fill the void with other people, with sex, drugs or alcohol, or some other distraction. We’re temporarily distracted. Our pain is momentarily soothed. We’re able to escape it for a little while. When we don’t learn to heal that void within us, though, it can never be filled by external things. They only mask the pain. They don’t cure it.
Learning to cope with loneliness is learning to be ok with ourselves. It’s self-acceptance. It’s coming to terms with who we are and knowing that we are enough just as we are. It’s learning to sit the difficult emotions that come up alongside our loneliness and accepting them rather than trying to make them go away. Our loneliness can make us feel sad. It can make us feel afraid that we’ll always be alone. Embrace the sadness and fear. Let yourself feel them. The more we accept them, the more we take away their power over us. When we drop our resistance, we can come to terms with our feelings much more easily and gracefully.
The next time you feel overcome with loneliness, give some thought to what kinds of healthy things you could embrace in your loneliness, rather than giving into the temptation of running to a lover or a drug or a drink. What creative pursuits could you discover and throw yourself into? What passions have you been neglecting? What parts of you have you yet to discover, that can fill the voids within you and bring you joy, satisfaction and a sense of purpose?
One of the best things about our treatment programs is the time we take to get to know you as an individual. We have the tools to develop a personalized treatment plan with you to help you reach your goals of recovery. Call 888-570-7154 for more information.